Best Career in 2008 and Job Satisfaction

LCC Call Numbers:
HF5549.5.J63 Job Satisfaction
HF5549.5.J616 Job Enrichment
HF5549.5.A83 Attitude Surveys. Employee Attitude Surveys.
HD4909-5100.9 Wages
HB2581-2787 Professions. Occupations.

  Academic Librarians appear to be quite happy in their jobs. A recent Library Journal survey shows that librarians really really love their jobs. I mean, their pretty damn happy about it. Who wouldn’t be happy about the ability to justify two hours of Google Reader as “self-development”? Despite their enjoyment, there are a few things these librarians do not like.

  Of the librarians surveyed, 62% said they rated their chances for advancement as “fair to poor.” This reflects many employees fears that there are very few rungs on the ladder when it comes to jobs in academic libraries.

  Salary concerns were the biggest determinant of dissatisfaction with 50% saying they felt that they were underpaid. Although academic librarians are interested in higher positions and salaries, they have no intention of leaving their jobs, with three out of four participants stating they planned on being a librarian until they retire.

  Working in an academic library has perks that are P.H.A.T. in their own right. Tuition waivers for librarians and offspring, great benefits, and better job security would make any employee happy. Add to that the challenge and spontaneity of a job at an academic library and you have a solid case for employment.

  Additionally, 43% said that they feel the profession is doing “a poor job” of representing its value to the public in the world of Google and Wikipedia. Technology is the top concern with one third of the respondents saying that keeping up with technology was their biggest on-the-job challenge (although 100% stated that they had e-mail accounts!).

  In similar news, the U.S. News & World Report has librarian listed as one of the best careers in 2008. They state:

Librarians these days must be high-tech information sleuths, helping researchers plumb the oceans of information available in books and digital records.

  The report also quotes the median salary at $51,400. Technically, I am not a librarian. I am still working on the degree, but seeing that number makes me salivate. I long for the days where instead of barely getting by, I’m nearly getting by. Granted, I won’t make that much as soon as I receive a degree, but it’s nice to hope for a larger salary in one’s life.

  Posting a median salary is great, but I think the number would be more interesting if it was accompanied by ages. What is the average salary of a twenty-five year old librarian versus a fort-five year old librarian? How quickly, on average, does one attain the median salary? Chances are you may never attain the median! Wouldn’t that make a great MLIS brochure slogan?

  I like Eric Kidwell’s statement in the Library Journal article where he states, “Part of the salary issue, I think, we have to blame on ourselves.” Similarities can be seen between librarians being pushed around on salary, the same way they got pushed around by journals for subscription costs. Perhaps it is time to stand up and demand compensation?


Albanese, Andrew Richard. Academic librarians are underpaid and overworked but mostly satisfied. February 1, 2008. <;. Accessed February 14, 2008.

Nemko, Marty. Best Careers 2008. U.S. News & World Report. December 19, 2007. < -executive-summary.html>. Accessed February 14, 2008.

Wikipedia <;


1 Response to “Best Career in 2008 and Job Satisfaction”

  1. 1 sing yee March 1, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    i am doing a research about the parenting role and its relationship with young adults job satisfaction. i need to have the information about the job satisfaction measurement tools. anyone out there have it??

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